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Wurzels Wurzelspeak

Wurzel Lingo Explained Fer Furriners!

Dictionary Compiled by Zider Ed

This page contains a dictionary of West Country words and phrases used by Adge Cutler and The Wurzels in their songs, patter, etc., translated into (more or less) English, which non-West Country natives or residents might find helpful. Most of the examples given are extracts from the songs.

This list was used, with permission, in Mervyn Hancock's Wurzels' World book in 2004.

This list is far from comprehensive, so if anyone has any additions, further explanations, corrections, etc., please let me know - Don't Tell 'Ee, Tell I!

Bissn't Aren't, e.g. Thee bissn't goin' far. Opposite of Bist (see below).
Bist Are, e.g. Thee bist = you are. See also 'Ow Bist below.
Cassn't Can't. See also 'N below for an example.
Couss Could.
Coussn't Couldn't.
Dollop Lump, quantity. Examples: a girt dollop of spaghetti; gave her a dollop o' girt big jollop
'Ee Normally thee (=you); or he, depending on context, e.g. Hark at 'ee, Jacko; Don't tell I, tell 'ee
'Em Them - see 'M.
Girt Great, big. Examples: girt dollop of spaghetti; put on thy girt big hat; girt big 'ats 'n' cloaks; girt big blackthorn stick
Hassn't Haven't. See also 'N below for an example.
I Me, e.g. Don't tell I, tell 'ee; Look at 'ee lookin' at I
Jollop Medicine
'M Depending on context, means either am, him, or them. Am is used instead of are, e.g. We'm, They'm. 'M or 'Em is used instead of him or they, e.g. don'm = doesn't he or don't they. Sort o' confusin', en'm?!
'N It, e.g. Thee's got'n where thee cassn't back'n, hassn't? = You've got it where you can't reverse it, haven't you?
Oh Ar Means lots of things, according to context and intonation, e.g. OK, I see, is that so?,...
See also Ooh Ar.
Ooh Ar Popularised by the Wurzels (post-Adge Cutler) and became a sort of catch-phrase for the band. More of a sort of triumphant cry of Wurzel jubilation than an expression having any specific meaning. For prime examples, listen to songs such as Combine Harvester, I Am A Cider Drinker, The Tractor Song, Funky Farmyard, Farmer Bill's Cowman, etc.
'Ow bist?,
'Ow bist 'ee?
How are you? A greeting.
Scrumpy Cider. Traditionally the Wurzels' favourite form of refreshment, rivalled only by beer in Wurzel drinking popularity, and therefore mentioned in many Wurzel Songs, e.g. I'll Never Get A Scrumpy Here, I Am A Cider Drinker, Drink Up Thy Zider, Drink, Drink, Yer Zider Up, etc.
For more information about scrumpy, see the Scrumpy 'n' Western Scrumpy User Guide.
Thee You. See also 'Ee.
Them They - see 'M.
They Them, e.g. staler than they = staler than them.
Thick The "th" in thick is pronounced as in this (as opposed to the "th" in thin). Means this or that, depending on context. Thick thur means yonder. Examples: Get up off thick mat; All thick sort o' stuff; What use were all thick learnin'
Thur There. See thick above.
Thy Your. Sometimes pronounced thee, as in Drink up thy zider (pronounced "Drink up thee zider").
'Tis It is. Similarly 'Twill = It will, 'Tain't = It isn't, etc
'Umman Woman. See Wi' below for an example.
Varmer Farmer. Many words beginning with "F" or "Ph" are pronounced as if they begin with a "V", e.g. Vorty-acre vield; Veet; Varmacist (although I never 'eard Adge say this'n)
Vernigh Very nearly, almost. Example: the garden's vernigh dug. Sometimes pronounced burnigh.
We'm We are, e.g. We'm off to Barrow Gurney. See 'M.
Wi' With, e.g. An 'umman wi' a few spare pound
Zider Cider (see Scrumpy above). Many words beginning with "S" or a soft "C" are pronounced as if they begin with a "Z", e.g. Zummerzet = Somerset
Zider Up Verb meaning to replenish with a sufficient quantity of cider, e.g. Landlord - zider I up or Zider we up!
Zummat Something, e.g. She upped an' zlipped, an' zummat ripped.

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